Susan Thananopavarn
Writing 101
Fall 2019

What does it mean to be Asian American in the twenty-first century?How are Asians and Asian Americans represented in the media, and how do writers resist and complicate these narratives by telling their own stories?Asian American writers have employed various genres to make meaning of their lives and the lives of others, including autobiographical essays, creative nonfiction, graphic memoirs, and film.Through these texts and your own writing, we will examine the choices people make in framing life experiences through writing.We will also explore how life writing can help us better understand key issues in Asian American studies such as the “model minority” myth, refugee experiences, international adoption, food and culture, gender and sexuality, Asian Americans in the South, and multiracial identities. Our reading and weekly writing about these topics will culminate in three major projects for the class.In the first project, a 4-5 page essay, you will explore Asian American representation in a text of your choice.The second project will consist of a 4-5 page literary analysis that considers the form of life writing: How do writers decide what to include, what genre to use, and how to frame their life experiences? In the final assignment, “Research in the First Person,” you will draw on your own experience as a starting point to delve more deeply into a topic or issue related to Asian American studies.For the last project, you will decide the best form in which to convey these perspectives, whether an essay, a multimedia presentation, a graphic novel, or other medium.